Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ponce de Leon Springs

We drove up to Ponce de Leon Springs one afternoon to check out the trails, do some paddle-boating and swim in what is thought by some to be "The Fountain of Youth." We planned to eat lunch as soon as we got there, and heard about a pancake place called the Sugar Mill. We decided to go there first and discovered there was a 2.5 hour wait, so while we waited we rented a paddle boat.

The boat rental guy was very concerned about us renting a paddle boat on such a windy day. Of course, Ryan and Aaron saw it as a challenge and signed the release forms stating they'd been warned of the dangers. After that, the four of us put on our snazzy life jackets and loaded up the boat.
You can't really tell from this picture, but the frustration level at the quality of our boat was very high. Aaron felt he had been duped by the rental guy who said it would be difficult because of the wind. Actually, it was difficult because the paddle boat was really crappy and didn't work no matter how hard the guys peddled. Tracy and I were riding in style in the back seats - wish I could have captured a pic of all 4 of us. We were laughing a lot.
Love this pic of me and my brother. He's just the best.
Get this - The water that flows from this spring spends 30 years in an underground cave system before it surfaces... so Ryan and I were potentially swimming in rain water that fell in 1980 - the year we were born! Isn't that crazy? 14 million gallons of water flow from the spring every single day! It was REALLY COLD!
The sign Tracy is sitting on says the water varies from 2 to 30 feet deep. Talk about useful information.
After waiting for over 2.5 hours for a table we FINALLY got a table at the restaurant

The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant was awesome - well worth the wait! They bring out an unending amount of batter and you cook it yourself on the griddle right in front of you!
Ryan's face perfectly describes how we felt by the time we used up the last of the batter on one huge pancake.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hunter Vision

Ryan and I got to swing over to visit my cousins Joel Hunter and Josh Hunter and check out the unbelievably beautiful Hunter Vision offices. Last time we visited they hadn't even put walls up yet. What an amazing place!
I can't wait to get Lasik from Joel someday. He is amazing.

To top off our time there, Josh gave Ryan this sweet Hunter Vision camo hat, which Ryan wore pretty much everyday for the rest of our vacation. If you think you might want a Hunter Vision hat, stop thinking that, because they're not even a thing. They don't even exist.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bailey Loves Ribs

Aaron and Tracy got a tiny Golden Retriever puppy in January. Bailey has grown like a weed since then - but she still likes to sit on Tracy's lap. She is such a good dog, as fun and friendly as you would expect a golden pup to be.
Robbie came over for a grill out one night - The boys pretty much dominated the grilled ribs situation. They spent many hours researching exactly what they wanted to do, buying supplies, pre-baking, marinating, and finally - grilling.
By the time we sat down to eat, Bailey was so hungry she grabbed a 1/4 rack from Ryan's plate and took of through the backyard. Aaron chased her down and recovered the meal, which he kindly offered back to Ryan. Bailey had BBQ sauce all over her face - so Aaron gave her a bath, which she might have enjoyed as much as the taste of ribs in her mouth.

Monday, March 28, 2011

"Sure hope we don't come across any wild pumas!"

Ryan and I took a little hike through Wekiwa Springs State Park on Sunday.
It was a beautiful morning so we decided to hike the 5 mile loop out to Sand Lake.
Ryan was loving the foliage, so different from Michigan with all the palms and moss and pumas
....we didn't see any pumas, but we were keeping our eyes peeled just in case.
This was my view. You can see that I rarely see my own feet these days.
Once we got to Sand lake we saw this sign:
"Alligators are common in this area. They can be dangerous and should not be approached, frightened or fed. Please give them the respect they deserve. Keep Your Distance!"
That was a picture of Ryan, trying to keep his distance as not to frighten any alligators.
Such a fun hike. I was POOPED by the end, but Ryan was so encouraging the whole time telling me what a trooper I am to hike 5 miles in 80 degree heat while 33 weeks pregnant. I like that he thinks I'm a trooper.

Mellow Mushroom

Eating pizza at the Mellow Mushroom is always an experience. Ryan and I were sitting on one side of the booth and Aaron and Tracy were on the other. Apparently, we were looking "out of place" because the first thing Wade, our waiter, said to us was something about a pastel convention - to which Ryan replied, "We're from out of town."

So hilarious. I guess packing and wearing our "Florida Clothes" didn't help us to blend in with the locals.

New Smyrna Beach

The only thing better than spending the day at the beach and eating lunch on the porch of a "walk-off-the-beach" restaurant, is doing those 2 things with Aaron and Tracy.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lake Michigan = Pure Michigan

After church this morning we went to Holland to grab a quick lunch with Chris. He lives with his buddies in a sweet little cottage on the shores of Lake Michigan. They're pretty much livin' the dream.
If you ignore the huge chunks of ice all over the beach, you'd think it was summer with blue skies and sunshine! YAY!
Can't wait to visit again when the weather gets warmer and Ruby and her baby sister can play in the surf.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Purse

I picked up a little white purse for $1 at a consignment sale the other day. Ruby keeps all of her treasures in it and carries it everywhere she goes.
One thing's for sure, she's going to have really strong deltoid muscles from raising her hand all day.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Step 1 of Becoming a Big Sister...

Other than the part around 5:30am when I heard her crying, went into her pitch-black room and nearly tripped over her laying on the floor by her chair, I'd say Ruby's first night in her "Big Girl Bed" was a success.
Ryan's mom and dad came over last night to help us take down the crib and set up the twin bed. Ruby is only 20 months old, so you may be asking why we would move her out of her crib already.
  1. In 9 weeks she will have a baby sister who will need that crib then we're moving to Columbus a few weeks later... I'm trying to give her one big transition at a time.
  2. The size of my belly prevents me from being able to reach her when she's in her crib. Moving to the twin made more sense than buying a fork lift to help me over the crib rail.
Here is her room before:
And here's her room now with the big girl bed. (yes, that's Ruby dramatically laying on the floor being very very sad that she wasn't yet IN her new bed.)
So far so good... we'll see how her nap goes this afternoon.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Crystal Mountain

The Cox Family spent the weekend at Crystal Mountain! This trip was a Christmas gift for the family from Ryan's mom and dad, two of the most generous and incredible people on the planet.
The men spent their days on the slopes - enjoying sleeting rain most of the day Friday, which helped them accomplish high speeds on the runs. They had such great attitudes... or maybe they just really love to ski. Saturday they were surprised to discover it was Mardi Gras on the Mountain day. Ruby got some beads from her uncle Chris and uncle Kyle. Of course, she was thrilled beyond measure at more necklaces in her life.
The ladies enjoyed a couple of mornings at the Crystal Spa while Ruby hung out with a bunch of kids at Adventure Care. I got a "mommy-to-be" massage on Friday and a glorious express facial on Saturday. I've never been so pampered - and my skin has never looked so good! Unfortunately, cameras were not allowed in the tranquil spa atmosphere, so I couldn't document Momo, Sarah and I hanging out in the lounge by the fireplace while sipping cucumber and mint water and listening to relaxing jazzy spa music. You'll have to imagine us sitting in the picture below.
We had delicious dinners both nights as well as some serious games of dominos and nertz. I am so thankful for the time spent as a family.
After dinner Saturday night Ruby got her wish and her Aunt Sarah and I took her to the swimming pool. Please excuse pictures my 30-week pregnant self in my swimming suit... its good documentation of baby #2 in the womb.
All in all it was such an incredibly wonderful weekend together. Thanks so much Daddo and Momo!